Roy Keane travelled to Tyndall National Institute to mark the launch of Irish Guide Dogs for the Blind (IGDB) Annual Heroes Appeal which starts on April 6th. Tyndall was chosen as the location for the launch as the Institute is supporting IGDB in developing new sensor based technologies to support training and help create more life changing Guide and Assistance Dogs partnerships.
The Annual Heroes fundraising Campaign will see volunteers and IGDB collecting nationwide to raise much-needed funds to support the organisations work with people who are blind or vision impaired and families of children with autism. The funds raised will go towards training Guide Dogs and Assistance Dogs.
Guide Dog 4.0 Project
The Tyndall and IGDB project titled Guide Dog 4.0 is designed to support IGDB in identifying potential Guide and Assistance Dogs earlier in the training process, to remotely monitor dog health and to help shorten the period taken to train a Guide or Assistance Dog. This research is supported through the CALIN project which is funded by the European Regional Development Fund as part of the Ireland Wales INTERREG Cooperation programme.
One of the many benefits of this work is that it will reduce the amount of time which Clients will wait for one of what are life changing services.
The project is looking at sensor based wearable technology that will isolate specific readings from the dogs. This data will then support trainers in better understanding the dog’s behaviour leading to better outcomes from the training process.
Speaking about the launch of HEROES, Roy Keane said “I am delighted to support the HEROES appeal for Irish Guide Dogs. Over the years, I have witnessed the incredible bond between these heroic dogs and their owners, a partnership which transforms and saves lives. It is amazing to be here in Tyndall to see how the work they do can have an impact on a family with autism or a person with a vision impairment.”
Roy continues “This project will help us create more Future Heroes! I’m asking the public to please support Irish Guide Dogs so that more people can enjoy the freedom and independence that these wonderful dogs provide”.
Padraig Mallon, CEO of Irish Guide Dogs for the Blind says “Our goal is to raise more than €150,000 from our HEROES appeal. Every donation helps us to train more Guide and Assistance dogs. We see every day the life changing effects our dogs have on our Clients and we understand how hard it is for those waiting for our services. We want to get to these people sooner and the funds raised in April will be a great help”.
How to support HEROES:
Text WOOF to 50300 to donate €4. (Irish Guide Dogs will receive a minimum of €3.60. Service Provider: LIKECHARITY. Helpline: 076 6805278)
Buy their dog pin online at guidedogs.ie or at street collections and retailers nationwide from 31st March. Full details of collections on www.guidedogs.ie
Donate online via www.guidedogs.ie/donate
Support their on street collection on the following dates:
Limerick City on April 6th and 7th
Dublin City on April 6th and 7th
Cork City on April 7th and 12th
Galway City on April 7th
About Irish Guide Dogs for the Blind
Irish Guide Dogs for the Blind is a national charity which provides vital services to blind or vision-impaired people and families of children with autism to enable them to achieve increased mobility, independence and an improved quality of life. It costs over €5.4 million to fund Irish Guide Dogs annually and with less than 15% of this coming from statutory agencies the organisation and its volunteers are working every day to raise the remaining €4.5 million required.